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People : Junichiro Koizumi

Thursday, September 23, 2004 Posted: 03:53 PM JST [PHOTOS]

Photos of Japan by Kjeld DuitsPolitician, Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)
Date of Birth: January 8 1942
Birthplace: Yokosuka, Kanagawa Pref.

One of the most popular prime ministers Japan has ever had, Junichiro Koizumi has been recreated on t-shirts, on batches, and even as a doll.

Like many politicians in Japan Koizumi hails from a political family. His father, Junya Koizumi, was a director general of the Defense Agency.

Koizumi graduated in March 1967 from the Faculty of Economics at Keio University. He moved to the UK to study at the University of London, but returned in December 1969 when his father suddenly died. He tried to fill his father's footsteps, but his bid for the House of Representatives failed. Instead he became a secretary to former Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda.

In December 1972 he was finally elected to the Lower House and he joined the Fukuda faction in the Liberal Democratic Party.

Six years later, in January 1978, Koziumi Married. The marriage ended in a divorce in 1982. The couple had 2 children.

He got his first post as a government minister in December 1988 when he became Minister of Health and Welfare in Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita's reshuffled Cabinet. In June 1989 he was reappointed in Prime Minister Sosuke Uno's Cabinet.

In January 1991 Koizumi formed the so-called YKK trio with reform-minded LDP lawmakers Koichi Kato and Taku Yamasaki. In the following years he uses this platform to further his goals.

Koizumi became Minister of Posts and Telecommunications in December 1992 in Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa's reshuffled Cabinet. He started to speak openly about privatising Japan's aging postal system.

When in July 1993 the LDP failed to win a majority in the Lower House election, Koizumi made remarks in a television program that Miyazawa should resign as Prime Minister. Koizumi himself resigned as minister the very next day.

In September 1995 Koizumi ran for the first time in the LDP presidential elections, but lost by a wide margin to Ryutaro Hashimoto. In November 1996 he became the Minister of Health and Welfare in the second cabinet of Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto.

In July 1998 after Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto stepped down, Koizumi tried for the LDP presidency for a second time. He was badly defeated by Keizo Obuchi.

In April 24 2001 Koizumi was finally selected as the LDP's 20th president and shortly thereafter as Prime Minister.

Keywords: people_focus political_news politics

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The now legendary Sir Ernest Mason Satow (1843-1929) was a member of the British legation in Tokyo for twenty-one years. This classic book is based on the author's detailed diary, personal encounters, and keen memory. In it, Satow records the history of the critical years of social and political upheaval that accompanied Japan's first encounters with the West around the time of the Meiji Restoration. Fascinating.
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